Alex Song made his maiden appearance in West Ham colours on Thursday having completed a season-long loan move from Barcelona, and the former Arsenal midfielder’s contribution has already become something of a viral hit.
Song played a key part in a quite ridiculous tiki-taka inspired goal scored by the Hammers in a resounding friendly victory over Ipswich, with the move also including Ravel Morrison before it was finished off by recent acquisition Diafra Sakho.
Sam Allardyce has been placed under pressure by the club’s owners to produce a more attacking brand of football, but a goal of this quality would have been beyond even their wildest dreams.
Song was the instigator; combining with Morrison following an audacious and frankly unnecessary backheel, before receiving the ball once again and playing a rabona pass back into the path of the former Manchester Untied prodigy.
Morrison then proceeded to square the ball to Sakho, who had the straightforward task of passing into an unguarded net to score his first goal for the club since being recruited from Metz during the transfer window.
The goal was described by Morrison ‘the best you will ever see’ scored at the Boleyn Ground, although those who remember Paolo di Canio’s stunning scissor-kick against Wimbledon may have something to say about that.
West Ham optimism
It would appear unlikely that Song would consider operating in such a carefree manner in a match of greater importance, although perhaps Arsenal fans would beg to differ, although the Cameroon international did offer an indication that he would prove to be an excellent signing.
Song, who left Arsenal for Barcelona two years ago, also provided an assist in the first-half for youngster Matthias Famino - who scored four times in the 5-1 rout - with an incisive pass that opened the opposition defence.
It was the type of back-four splitting ball rarely seen played by a West Ham player, and fans will be optimistic that Song can offer an additional creative spark behind the now numerous attacking options the club possesses.
They will hope Enner Valencia, a £12 million post-World Cup signing, will make the intelligent runs that Song can then feed, and ensure the Hammers push towards their ambition of a finish in the Premier League’s top half.